Dragons on the map

I ought to be used to it by now.  Just when I think I’ve got life sussed, the world shifts under my feet, I find out more about myself, and I have to reconstruct my mental map of the universe.  Again. 

It’s been a particular feature of the last three years, as I prepared to move from the world of industry into the church, and thereafter as I’ve spent time in parish as a curate.  I’ve discarded mental maps more often than most people empty their kitchen bin.  But the trouble with discarding a map is that I need a new one, and at the moment all the information I have to work with is “I know that I don’t know”.  


My new mental map is the equivalent of some medieval fancy, with “Here be dragons” written across the blanks.    And yes, I do know that such maps are mostly Victorian in origin, and that no self respecting cartographer would ever use such an image.  Therein lies the trouble.  I like to think that I am fairly good at spotting what is going on, at dealing with dynamics, at dealing with reality.  I am a self respecting cartographer of the world.  I’m not terribly happy with a big blank on my map.   

But some blanks take time to fill in.  If I come into contact with a different group of people, I have to give time to understand and assimilate.  That makes sense. However, rethinking several portions of my map at the same time takes energy.  I feel lost, disorientated, and as a self respecting cartographer, grumpy.  I need to reset my bearings.  

As a Christian, I have one advantage.  I do not have to be a geologist as well as a cartographer.  Because however sands may shift, continents drift and volcanoes erupt, God remains core and bedrock.    


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